I have never seen the movie The Bucket List. I can’t bring myself to watch it yet, I know it’s going to be so sad. When that movie came out some of my family came up with their own bucket lists to discuss at Christmas. Most of my list consists of travel, I know big surprise!
I learned many years ago not to let anything slip by even if I have a tiny part of me that wants to do it. We were in on Virgin Gorda, part of the British Virgin Islands, at the Baths and I backed out of a rock jump that Mike and Joe did. I was so upset with myself for not going, I was jealous. I remember that clear as it was yesterday. They jumped and I wished I could do it, but it was too late. So when it comes to trying new things I remember that day and how sometimes you don’t get second chances at things.
Well skydiving was on not my original list, I guess I never really thought about it. A friend mentioned it at the beginning of summer but I did not want to travel to the Catskills. Well TJ and I decided we still wanted to try it. I found a place closer to home: finger lakes skydiving http://skydivefingerlakes.com/ We juggled around a few dates and quickly talked about it. I picked labor day weekend but never really set it up. I told TJ that he needed to plan it while I was in Boston.
We picked, Saturday September 1st. We had 4 jumpers: TJ, Andrea, Steve, and I . Then Heidi came along for support/camera action.
To be honest I really didn’t think much about it, not sure why. I guess I didn’t wanna freak myself out. The night before I read through the website, making sure I would wear the right clothes but wasn’t checking much else out. We went out and TJ and talked a little about it, more like what time we were leaving. Stayed out a little too late, but all is good, I never sleep anyways.
TJ picked me up at 0720 and we left to get everyone else. I took my ginger tabs and drank a can of ginger ale, probs a little overkill but was worried about being car sick on the drive to Ovid. We get there around 0900. The Ovid airport is ummm, a field. The building was a big green Shack looking place. We went in and watch a quick 5 minute video, pretty much saying we can not sue for any bodily harm or death. Then we go into another room to start instructions. The instructions were very quick.
Head up, arms crossed till a tap then can open while free-falling. ARCH your back, legs together and trailing behind. Follow out of the plane, wait on step 1,2,arch…………………
The boys boarded and then they were off. Some guy came out to talk with us and said they would be gone about 25 minutes, it takes about 20 minutes for the plane to get to 10,000 feet. Us girls talked about the junk and enjoyed the view
Twenty minutes later we could see 2 small specs in the sky. It took about 5 minutes for them to land. TJ came down first, almost hitting a tree and Heidi freaked out a bit, she thought he was going to hit us on the bench. He skidded on his butt very hard and landed. Steve came in a minute later nice and smooth.
Now it’s time for the girls. We go back into the shack to get our jump suits on. I asked if Ethel could come but she was too big and weird shaped. We went out to the plane Andrea got in first and then I got in.I was sitting next to the pilot. Very small quarters but I was actually comfortable. It took about 20 minutes to get to 10,000 feet. The views were amazing, we could see Seneca lake, Cayuga Lake and even Lake Ontario. My tandem jump partner was Bill. We got along well, he had a great sense of humor. He gave us some mints “don’t worry it’s not my Oxycontin” and then pointed out the prison “kind of like my home away from home”. Around 8,000 feet Bill turned around to face me and review the jump instructions again. I made sure to pay attention, I turned off my ADD. Around 9,000 feet I had to turn around and face the front of the plane so Bill could hook us up together.He reassured me as he hooked up each of the 4 clamps. We were very close “So hello there” I said to Bill. I am trying to figure out why I am not freaking out. I was surprisingly calm. Bill opened the door and we were getting ready to jump. I will admit once the door opened I was getting nervous but it all happened so fast that I really didn’t have time to get freaked out. Bill put his right foot on the jump platform. He told me to do the same, I was allowed to hang on to the edge of the plane. I had to bring out my left foot but it was stuck underneath me. I had to use my arms to pull it out. Got my left foot out crossed my arms and was ready, looking down 10,000 feet. A quick wave to the camera and 1,2,ARCH……. We did a flip and were free-falling. I forgot to open my arms to enjoy the fall, Bill reminded me. We fell for about 45 seconds and I believe we were going about 125mph. I had a hard time catching my breath, I had to breathe through my nose. Then I was able to enjoy the free fall. Bill taped my shoulder and I had to cross my arms to get ready for the parachute to deploy. A quick pull up and then we were floating through the air. Bill said, “Welcome to my world” my response, “I could get paid for this”. The views were amazing. Bill had to unhook our lower clamps, so I had to stand on his feet and pull myself up with my arms to take the pressure off so he could get it unhooked. I was able to steer the parachute for a bit, it moves so easily. My chest strap was a little uncomfortable so we did the me standing on his feet and pulling up again so he could loosen the chest strap. It took a bit and we floated a little more than he wanted too in the wrong direction. Bill found the landing site and started to head that way. On the way he asked how my stomach was feeling and decided to do twists. They were so much fun I asked him to do it again. We practiced our landings a couple of times on the way down. Before landing I said, “I wanna jump again”. We were coming in for a landing. I had my feet up like I was suppose to and the ground was coming closer, so I decided that I would help Bill land us at that point since I had been 5 minutes of an expert. Umm big mistake. We landed very hard. I took a lot of the impact with my feet/legs and then we went to our butts. Bill blamed it on the wind but I knew I had a lot to do with it. When all was said and done Bill told me it was his second hardest landing ever. YIKES! Andrea came in a minute later nice and smooth, they had her land from the other direction due to the wind.
The drive home was good, we all talked about our jumps. I talked to my mom of course and then Eric came home so I got to tell him and show pictures and videos. Later that day I got thinking about what I could do next. For once in my life I do believe I was content. It was a very strange feeling but I liked it. This morning I am actually still feeling content.
I will jump again and will recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Life is short so take advantage of it!